the human cost of conspiracy theories


This Guardian article documents the stories of five individuals whose lives have been wrecked thanks to conspiracy theories.

And who would have known that our friend Rautakyy has been lying all these years that he comes from Finland, a place that doesn’t even exist.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

40 thoughts on “the human cost of conspiracy theories

  1. rautakyy says:

    Yes, I admit it. In the post truth era I come from Moominvalley.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Man I am surprised you have been lying to us about Finland while all this time, that’s just sea

      Like

      • rautakyy says:

        Sorry. Seriously though, this is a far more bigger problem, than discussed by the mainstream media.

        In my view, the really big and especially dangerous conspiracy theories are Climate Change Denialism, Anti-Vaccination and Creationism. These have a dangerously large amount of people who believe in them and for them to be true they are far, far wilder for example beyond 9/11 Truthers. Most conspiracy theories are about people (mostly US citizens) not trusting their government (I wonder why). However the three I mentioned need for almost the entire Scientific Community of the planet to be in some sort of conspiracy. The scale of such a conspiracy would be astounding. It is alarming, that anybody would fall for these.

        While the individual stories in the article linked in the topic post are horryfying, the human cost caused by the three I mentioned abowe is exponential to the number of people who believe in them. Surprice, surprice the same sources that spread the individual hate campaigns in the article examples also promotes the really big conspiracy theories. The extreme right-wing politics live on fearmongering and hatred produced by it, but also on traditional “values”, like racism, religion, greed, the freedom of the powerfull to exploit the weak and other irrational emotional – and frankly unhealthy – ideals.

        Liked by 2 people

        • makagutu says:

          You are right on the bigger threats posed by climate change denialism, antivax & creationism.
          I am guessing there is a segment of the population that believes, in the USA, mainly that there is a plot to deceive them and this creates a gap to be filled in by crooks. We kinda have the same problem but I don’t think it generates conspiracy theories as the US but it does lead to rumour networks

          Like

        • Nan says:

          And the “anti-vax” conspiracy is coming back to haunt them. I’m sure you’re read what’s currently happening with measles in the U.S.

          Like

  2. carmen says:

    I guess from now on we’ll be referring to Rautakyy, the Eastern Swede. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      I think so.
      I am even surprised someone would doubt JK Rowling’s existence.

      Like

    • rautakyy says:

      Or maybe, I am the Western Russian? Finlad (that obviously does not even exist) has been part of both Sweden and Russia. We Finns – that is the actors (some 5000 000 of us) pretending to be Finns – have a proverb, wich rougly translates: “We were never Swedes and we do not want to become Russians, let us be Finns.” In the alternative “facts” it of course means that these actors want to be percieved as Finns.

      Like

  3. limey says:

    Those stories are genuinely frightening. kudos to them all for how they handle it.

    Like

  4. Barry says:

    They’re just conspiracy theories – short of facts. On the other hand here’s a real conspiracy with supporting evidence, that’s affecting 4.7 million people:

    Liked by 4 people

  5. We humans, on the whole, can be far from pleasant. I guess we all need to look towards a better world through educational and personal example.

    Like

  6. Scary stuff. We live in crazy times. This is why, on my blog, I NEVER push conspiracy nonsense. For example, on my blog, you’ll find 0 stories about those bastards on the Nobel Prize Committee trying to have me assassinated because I’ve awarded myself a few of their “prizes.” Bastards!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. renudepride says:

    I didn’t ever give much credence to the power of conspiracy theories until the late 1990’s and the pipe bomb that exploded at the Summer Olympics at the Atlanta, USA games. The initial “person of interest” was identified as a gay man who was deeply closeted at the time. The resulting fiasco destroyed lives and reputations and ended in tragedy once the real killer was apprehended. Since that time, I have tried to avoid any participation in any situations of mass hysteria – including the delusion that the sitting president of the USA was even popularly elected. Once credence is given to a theory, it then becomes fact and “fake news” is a dangerous thing to behold. Naked hugs!

    Like

  8. shelldigger says:

    Free speech is one thing. Conspiracy theories/fake Faux news that is pushed to the level of genuine human suffering is something else altogether. Something needs to be done to drop a hammer on this shit.

    Facts matter. Facts should always take precedence over bullshit. Problem is, the conspiracy theorist is as married to their B.S. agenda as the religiot is to their invisible friends. Clearly we can’t fix stupid. But we can fix the social media allowing this sort of thing to propagate.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      The SM will say these talking heads are protected under free speech laws

      Like

      • shelldigger says:

        Free speech that incites mobs of morons to act criminally is no longer free speech. Then again I suppose that might be how the revolution that founded this country happened. The main difference is there was no lack of overbearing Imperial injustices to base that little fiasco on. Those grievences were real, the weaponizing of the fake news today is as much an injustice to us all, and perhaps even more dangerous to the country, due to the polarizing of views it creates, as what the colonies endured.

        The war against conspiracy theories and fake news is overdue. The article you linked is good evidence for it.

        Fuck the SM.

        This comment is an opinion I hold at this moment I write it. I am certainly open to to rebuttal that might sway this view.

        Like

  9. Arkenaten says:

    Crazy stuff – and tragic too.

    Like

  10. Eric Alagan says:

    And then there was Iraq falsely accused of possessing weapons of mass destruction. How many died there – on all sides – I wonder.

    Tragic as it is, individuals are not the only ones who suffer from “conspiracy” theories.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Peter says:

    I don’t know if you ever saw the movie ‘Capricorn One’ that played to the moon landing conspiracy crowd.

    The one that I find most detestable are the Sandy Hook conspiracy theories where they start going after the parents.

    I think social media shows many of us so much want to believe a narrative that we can become immune to evidence, The Covington Catholic High School matter in the US has shown me that folk on the left can be just as prone to this behaviour as those on the right.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      No, I didn’t watch it. I could look for it.
      The Cchs matter is a good example of why people should not be too quick to react & apologize when caught flat-footed

      Like

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